Not realizing that there was a free New Year’s Eve concert in downtownNashville, we headed down to Broadway to grab some lunch. That explained the cordoned off streets and exorbitant parking (at noon). We found a paid lot next to the Ryman and walked down to Broadway in the drizzle. We turned the corner past Tootsie’s and as soon as we passed Robert’s Western World, we found ourselves standing at the end of the line waiting to go into Jack’s Bar-B-Que. Originally opening in 1989 at the corner of Broadway and First Avenue, Jack lost his lease to development by the riverfront (to a spot that became the Hard Rock Cafe) and moved up Broadway to the current location – they’ve since opened two additional locations in town.
A line stretching out the door at 1:30 on a Saturday is usually a sign of one of two things – either there is excellent food or they are the only game in town. I could see other restaurants across the street, so we were hoping for the former. The good thing about the line is that we weren’t waiting for a table – we were actually in the line for counter service, where you order. It was fifty to sixty people deep, but we moved through it and up to the steam table and register in about twenty minutes. Actually, instead of “we”, I moved up there while my beloved snagged a table for two, by the window. Actually, it was a table pushed up against the window with half a booth for seating. It made for cozy dining.
We had decided that we would be sharing a plate with extra sides, so I ordered a three meat plate (ribs, brisket and turkey) with green beans and slaw and sides of baked beans and Brunswick stew. The ribs were very good and the brisket had a nice smoke ring. But the surprising meat was the turkey – fork tender, moist and with just the right amount of smoke. They had eight or nine sauces (in pitchers or dispensers by the register) and I really enjoyed their extra hot sauce. The green beans were excellent, as were the baked beans. The slaw was “odd” (according to the BBEEST), and the corn bread served with the plate was an added bonus, almost cancelled out by the pickles…
Several of my friends had told me about how much they liked Jack’s when they had made visits to Gruhn’s Guitars, before they moved up 8th Street a couple of years back. I guess that I ought to listen to them more often.